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Friday Favs – Where Did January Go?

Friday Favs – Where Did January Go?

Happy Friday, friends! Is it just me or did January fly by? I had over a week of SUPER slow speeds (it took an entire hour to upload a 10 MB file one night!) and then almost another entire week of no internet at all. This seems to happen every winter, but I’m so happy to be back in business!

I’m considering doing my Friday Favs posts just once a month for awhile. With the weather so cold and being laid off from several of my jobs, I haven’t had many exciting things to share. I’d way rather do a post once a month with things I’ve really been loving than stretch to come up with five things on a week when there isn’t much new!

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately:

 

 

 

1. I reread The Artist’s Way at least once a year, and it always brings up new ideas and new motivation. It;s one of those books that changes as your life does, and I always get something new from it.

There are quotes in the page margins, and I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately:

 

 

2. You may have noticed my blog looks different! I’ve been wanting to fix some things with my blog design FOREVER. I’m pretty decent at CSS and HTML but I HATE doing it. Plus, I learned on blogger since I used it from 1999 until like 2016, so WordPress is still foreign to me. Last week, I finally gave in and decided to see if I could find someone on Fiverr to fix two small things for me. I knew that what would take me hours to figure out would probably take someone experienced a few minutes. I found a guy who does WordPress work for $5, so I asked if he could fix the weird alignment issue I had with the top of my sidebar (for some reason it was like 3 pixels out of alignment and it drove me nuts) and fix my main column so that I could post photos that were at least 800 px wide instead of 600.

Unfortunately, my old WordPress theme was built in a super weird way that I would have needed to get the background graphics totally redesigned to make the changes work, so the guy I hired got back to me and let me know that unfortunately it just wasn’t going to look right if he made the changes I asked for. I was refunded quickly, which was a bummer at first, but I really appreciate that he was so honest about his limitations. I wound up just switching to a whole new theme instead, so while I miss my palm trees, at least I can post wider photos now!

If you have nagging tasks that you’ve been meaning to get around to for ages, I totally recommend Fiverr! Some people charge $10 or $25 or more for their work, and the site adds on a small fee. (I paid a total of $7 for my $5 project.) They have a referral program, so if you sign up via my link, you will get 20% off your first purchase! And like I mentioned, they are great with refunds if things don’t work out. I still consider it to be a really good experience even though it didn’t go as expected.

 

 

 

3. Although it’s super cold today, we’ve had a few REALLY nice days in the last month or so! I can’t resist a nice sunny day, so I’ve been outside a lot. I decided to put together a comprehensive guide to local hiking trails, and it’s a crazy amount of work, but I’m having a blast doing it! My first post should be going up next week, if I can ever manage to finish editing all of the photos. It’s been so fun to have a creative project to work on that I know is actually going to help people!

 

 

 

4. I found these gorgeous vases at Walmart of all places. For $4 each! It’s hard to tell from the photo, but they’re quite large – maybe 8″ tall? Can’t decide if I like the clear or the iridescent one better. But with Valentine’s Day coming up, I wanted to share since they’d be perfect for holding flowers you receive, or filling with the absurd amount of chocolate that you buy for yourself. (I think we know which of those categories I fall into.) I’ve been trying to think of other things I could use them for – basically I’m trying to justify a $4 purchase to myself. This is how my brain works. It’s fun in here.

 

5. Here’s to making better life choices in 2020. We’ve got this.

 

Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites

Last Friday Favs of 2019!

Last Friday Favs of 2019!

Happy Friday! What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been. Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season. I’m SO ready to start the 20’s! New year, new decade, fresh start. Bring it on!

 

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately:

 

1. IT WAS SO GOOD. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it there for now! I waited until the 23rd to go in hopes of less crazy crowds, and my small local theater only had about 18 people at the showing I went to! I wanted to catch it in the theater again, so I saw it in IMAX last night. The temptation to go a 3rd time to see it in 3D IMAX is serious, but good seats are like $20, which would mean I’ve now spent like $50 seeing this movie. That seems a little much?

 

2. Since I last posted, I watched these on Disney+:

Inside Out
One Day at Disney
Monsters University
Coco
The rest of Season 1 of the Mandolorian

 

Thumbs up to all of them! I’ve been meaning to watch Coco, Inside Out, and MU for years. I’m not even sure what I’m going to dive into next!

 

3. I have heard a ton of ads for Skillshare and finally decided to try it out. If you sign up via my link, you will get two free months of unlimited classes and I will get a free month for referring you. Win-win!

A couple of classes I’ve enjoyed this week:

How to Write a Blog Post That Strangers Will Actually Read

Writing for Self-Discovery: 6 Journaling Prompts for Gratitude and Growth

 

 

4. This 3-pack of dot-to-dot books was my Christmas present to myself. I loooooove “extreme” dot-to-dot books. Adult coloring books are fun but I have to stop and overthink which colors to use – these are similarly soothing but without the need to make decisions. YAY. I was just going to get the two-pack that had Folklore and Architecture, but it was only $5 more to get the 3-pack. (The individual books are like $9 or $13 each if you buy them separately and my 3-pack was only $20!)

Embarrassing story: I emailed the manufacturer because all three books had pages that were weirdly short and the dots ran off the edge of the page. I thought it was a weird printing/binding defect, but right after sending the email I realized that no… those pages fold out to make a bigger page. Oops.

I really want the Cats one, for obvious reasons. Maybe next time!

 

 

5. This has been my background music while working this week!

Makes me feel right at home.

 

I need to do an end-of-year wrap up post, but I have another dental surgery scheduled on Monday so we’ll see if that actually happens before the end of the year or not. Either way, hope the rest of your year is awesome!

Friday Favs – December Shenanigans

Friday Favs – December Shenanigans

Happy Friday, friends! I have so much catching up to do, as usual. Tis the season to be super busy, I guess!

 

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately:

 

Harry Potter Sorcerers Stone in French book cover

 

1. I found a French copy of the first Harry Potter book at a thrift store, and I’ve been having SO MUCH FUN trying to read it! I’m far from fluent so I have to look a lot up, but it’s really neat to see what changes and what stays the same.

 

 

One of the weirdest things to me was that they changed the house names. Hufflepuff is now Poufsouffle! 😂

 

 

 

2. I had the opportunity last weekend to attend a celebration of Rumi that included whirling dervishes. SO FREAKING COOL. Before the actual event, I got to take a turning class. I have always been TERRIBLE at doing any kind of turns without getting dizzy and this was no exception. But it was still cool to learn! At the end of the class, we each took turns (no pun intended) turning in the center of a circle created by the other participants. Somehow, I was able to turn without getting dizzy for that brief moment in time. Super cool.

 

 

The woman in yellow taught the turning class – I was totally captivated by how she managed to look totally blissful no matter how long she was whirling. (I’m off to the side with the yellow scarf and a black skirt loaned to me by the dancer in blue, who I randomly met earlier that day. It’s that kind of group.) If you ever get the opportunity to watch semazens (whirling dervishes) – GO. It’s fascinating and mesmerizing.

 

 

During one of the last dances, we all had the opportunity to join in twirling in the center. Despite not being great at it, I had to give it a go – How often do you get the chance to spin in the center of a chanting group to live music in a stunning setting?

 

 

I didn’t take any photos that night (the two above are courtesy of friends on Facebook) but I found this photo of the church on Instagram to give you an idea of the space we were in:

 


(Side note – I’m not Sufi, but they’re a super welcoming bunch. It’s so cool to experience the ceremonies and rituals of a totally different group.)

 

 

 

 

3. I finally gave in and did the free 7-day trial of Disney+. Today is my 3rd day and so far, I’ve watched…

*The first 6 episodes of the Mandalorian (Obviously.)

*Moana (SO MUCH CRYING.)

*Free Solo (OMG insane.)

*I just started watching the Imagineering Story series. Started with the second episode – SO much good Haunted Mansion stuff and vintage Epcot! Everything I love in one place! And again, so much crying. I miss home and the company SO MUCH. Even though I hated working at Magic Kingdom, I cried seeing the Tunnels again. (Ok, I didn’t *hate* working at MK, but compared to working at the resorts, having to travel so far from the parking lot to your work location is a huge hassle. We actually got paid for “walk time” there.)

 

 

4. I needed a hotel for my KC trip, and discovered the total magic of booking a last minute Priceline deal. As a former concierge and absolute hotel nerd, you have NO IDEA how hard it was for me to book a room not knowing which hotel I was going to end up with. THE HORROR. But when I saw that I could get a 4-star hotel RIGHT in downtown KC for $100, I had to do it. I wound up at the Westin (I will probably do a whole post about it soon) in a corner room with amazing panoramic views of downtown. I looked it up and that room is usually about $190/nt, so I did in fact get a great deal!

I totally recommend going the Priceline mystery hotel route if you’re booking a same day stay. It tells you how many stars the place is, and most of the ones I looked at show you three hotels it might be. (I think mine showed me brands – I was getting a Hilton, Westin, or the 21C.)

 

5. And finally, a reminder as this year draws to a close:

 

 

A question for you guys: Are there any rituals or habits you do to finish up a year? I’ve picked up the practice of trying to clear up my email inbox and phone photo folder to go into the new year with a little less clutter. I wish I had the time and energy to do the same with my house and car – leave all of the last year’s mess in the past – but I’ll settle for emails and photos!

One year I tried ringing in the new year with green juice instead of vodka, but I ended up in the ER the next day so I decided that trying to be healthy was just not worth it.

I’d love to hear your end of year stuff!

 

 

Friday Favs – Liquid Diet Edition

Friday Favs – Liquid Diet Edition

Happy Friday, friends! I had some pretty major oral surgery two weeks ago, so I haven’t exactly been out and about much to acquire regular favorites. Not being able to chew for over a week is not the most fun thing, so I have a whole new expertise in what to eat when you can’t eat! Sharing a few things that helped me survive today, as well as a few more traditional favs. I’m just saying, I will never, ever take chips and salsa for granted again. Chips! Delicious chips! (I got Mexican food for my “Last Meal” before surgery but I was too nervous to eat much, so the chips and salsa sat around taunting me afterwards until I finally threw them out.)

*This post contains affiliate links because this is the internet and I just went many thousands of dollars into debt to get my teeth fixed. Whee!*

 

 

1. I don’t like yogurt, but I was browsing the yogurt aisle for a sippable probiotic to balance out my antibiotics. Didn’t find that, but I did find this vanilla maple Powerful Drink instead. Wasn’t sure if I would like it since it’s Greek yogurt-based, but IT WAS SO GOOD. It’s very thin in consistency, and the flavor gets a big thumbs-up. It has 20g of protein, which was the big selling point for me. Plus it’s only $2, which is totally reasonable. 

 

 

chicken and cheese for liquid diet after oral surgery

2. This is going to sound really gross, but trust me. I knew that after a few days of living on smoothie drinks alone, I’d be wanting FOOD really badly. Turned out that happened the day after surgery, so I was glad I had these on hand. 

I got the store brand Great Value organic chicken broth and microwaved a cup full for about 30 seconds, then stirred in a little bit of Frito’s mild cheddar dip, which melted right in. Like I said, I know this sounds horrible but when you’re craving something savory SO MUCH, it really hits the spot. Warm and chickeny and cheesy! I went through three (small) cups in a row once I figured out that it solved my craving for food. Please don’t judge me.

As a side note, Campbell’s Cream of Tomato is also pretty satisfying, but omg after these last couple of weeks if I never see tomato soup again it will be too soon.

 

 

3. Okay, so Lindt truffles aren’t exactly liquid, but they do basically melt in your mouth so they’re making the list! The Snickerdoodle truffles ones that are out right now have crunchy little bits of cookie embedded in the outer chocolate layer so they’re not entirely sore mouth friendly, but they’re so yummy! The milk/white chocolate combo ones are also totally magical. 

 

4. Ok, on to non-food things! I spotted this mug at Target the other day and knew that it must be mine:

 

5. And I wasn’t planning to buy any new Christmas ornaments this year, but I saw this guy in the Dollar Spot and that totally went out the window. I wish there had been a black one, too, but c’est la vie. (I don’t think kitty here is on the Target website, but he’s $3!)

 

 

Linking up with A Little Bit of Everything and Bright on a Budget.

Friday Favs – Happy November!

Friday Favs – Happy November!

Happy November, friends! Life has been so busy this past month that it feels like October flew by. I’m in a time of huge, crazy changes – scary but mostly awesome!

This is my last month of trail rides for the season, but since the weather has been SO COLD I think I’m very ready for the break. I just got a text that they don’t need me tomorrow and I’m not sure if I’ll be up for working the weekend after that, so I may only have 2 or 3 days left! Eep!

Side note – Ever since the WordPress update it has been smooshing my paragraphs together. Anyone have a workaround for that? I threw a few *’s in to ensure line breaks, but I hate how that looks. Help!

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Here’s what I’ve been enjoying lately!

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1. I wasn’t planning to buy any of Target’s Halloween birds this year…

…but then I spotted this one-eyed guy.

Could not resist! The missing eye just makes him inexplicably charming to me.

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2. This song is fairly old, but it’s been my jam lately. Perfect for a kitchen dance party when you need to feel better.

3. I first tried CBD oil a couple years ago and had great results. The brand I was using became unavailable near me, and none I’ve tried since have worked quite as well. I was looking up companies that offer sample sizes, since I’d rather not spend $30+ on a bottle I’m not sure I’ll like. I came across Erth Hemp on Google and wound up ordering two sample bottles from them. They offer a cool feature where you can fill out a survey in exchange for a code that makes a sample size free. You can choose drops, drops for pets, or soft gels. You do have to pay for shipping, which is like $3, but totally worth it if you’ve been wanting to try CBD without dropping a ton of $! (This isn’t sponsored, btw. Just wanted to share!) You can access the survey that gets you the free sample code here.

4. I am pretty sure that I posted back in August when my Bear cat had to go to the emergency vet? Well, he was sick last weekend and it was SO SCARY. He didn’t want to eat on Thursday or Friday, so I had to syringe feed him on Saturday & Sunday while stress-texting my vet friend. We made plans for me to bring him in first thing on Monday morning, but he woke me up at midnight the night before asking for food. THANK GOODNESS. He proceeded to eat five meals on Monday. I guess it was just a random bug or something? But oh man am I thankful that we didn’t have another vet bill when I’m still paying for the last one, and especially thankful that he’s okay!

5. Speaking of fun medical things, I learned something this week that I wanted to share since it might be helpful for one of you guys! As I mentioned, I’m getting some major dental work done on Monday. I thought I knew what I was going to do because I was on a serious budget. I was financing part of it through Care Credit, who had approved me for a $1,500 loan. However, while discussing my options with the manager of the dental clinic, he was able to pull up my account and request a credit limit increase, and they upped it to $7,000! I’m not using all of that, but y’all… if you need something medical done and can only get approved for part of the financing you need, this is worth trying. I never would have guessed that they would be able to get my limit raised that much! It’s going to make a massive difference in the quality of dental work I’m getting. (Although I’m going to be paying it off for YEARS, I think it will be worth it. EEP.)


I have the “Wisdom of the Oracle” deck by Colette Baron-Reid and this is one of my favorite cards, and it sums up how my life feels right now 100000%.

“It is human nature to yearn for certainty and resist change – to want the world to remain consistent like a zebra’s stripes. Yet nothing in human experience is black and white, nor will anything remain static. The one thing guaranteed is change. Now is a time of transformation as outer conditions are temporarily moving out of sync with your desires and expectations. Stay the course and remember that even storms serve to clear the air, scatter the seeds, and nourish the soil for better things ahead. Life is about to get interesting. Anticipate it with curiosity as you wonder what is coming in on the shifting winds. The unknown is where the magic lies.”

Did you know I’m on Poshmark? I have quite a few new items with tags, and I’m planning to add more soon!

Linking up with Bright on a Budget and A Little Bit of Everything